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Previously Feared Darkness, poetry from the Canadian winter.


Byline: Reprint from Subterranean Blue Poetry

Title of Book: Previously Feared Darkness

Author: Robert Priest

Publisher: ECW Press

Date of Publication: 2013

Page Count: 97


Previously Feared Darkness, a captivating tome of poetry from Canadian Poetry Icon Robert Priest. Robert Priest, writer of 19 books of prose, poetry, and CD's, is a children’s author and singer/songwriter, bon vivant and man about town, the modern day answer to the legacy of Canadian Poet Robert Service, poetry icon.

The Bard of Canada lives in mountains espousing the truth, inspiration and often humor, paints vignettes of the greats, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, Milton Acorn and presenting Mr. Harper, observations of politics, poets, love, the New World and peace. As if influenced by the Counterculture Revolution of the 1960’s, flower power, free love and peace activism, the hope of this era emerges in a rambunctious, masculine, heterosexual work that is entertaining, direct connect and righteous. The Modernist influences extend to capitalization of each beginning line, a poet in step and saying his piece, “to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

Nothing Came

“Nothing came

Though waiting had happened

Nothing came

On the 4 a.m. bus

Out of nowhere

We waited and we waited some more

But nothing came

Nothing came to nothing

And so we sat with that

Like arrival

Till it was a place

Or a being

In fact it was us

This locus of nothing

And it hurt like hell

Nothingness in us

Tugging at us

Wanting to be something

If we go on waiting I believe

The bus will arrive

And we will once again

Have nothing in our arms”

and the touch of Existentialism and sisyphicus all rolled into waiting at a bus stop at 4 a.m., perhaps after a party at a bar, and you know he was actually there at that bus stop, waiting.

This Writer liked the beautiful tomes on love:

From Between Your Disconnection and Mine

“you need to say “love” precisely
love, love, concision has made me strange

I cut corners in words
I should have found you by now

everything points toward you
the very land leads down

we’ll wind up in
the same gullies

no matter what
we say

we’ll be at the crest
of the same waves

still not making
eye contact

I will stand with you
at the very feet of god

and neither you nor I
will finally nod

or what?
we could break

all the great spells
of time and circumstance

with a glance”

and Minatures:

“Love is not the answer

It is the question

It is the command.”

and Micro-Poems:

“The sky is a search-engine with only one name in it: the beloved.”


This poetry has weight, it is a man’s view of life and modern life Canadian. Also, within the book of poetry are some male humor pieces, as in V – “When Churchill flashed his famous V sign/ It wasn’t for victory/ As everyone says/ It was for vagina”; from The Waistland – “And there are fat arses/ Bigger than the backs of buses/ Bursting with vile gases . . . “This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang/ But hemorrhoids” perhaps a parody of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland; Just a Wee Bit About Fucking and Asshole Sky.

As this Writer read this book of poetry I quietly envisioned a bar on Bay Street in Toronto in the evening peopled with the men from the newspaper, marketing and business shops all dressed in the same suit, the same shoes and all reading Robert Priest.

Near the end of the work are a series of poems with “Meme Splice” in the title with a play on two similar words, “Iron/Irony”, “Country/Cunt”, "Crisis/Christ", "Breast/Beast", "Honour/Horror" etc. an interesting concept (for Poets there is often this dichotomy in writing where 2 interchangeable words will present themselves for one spot in a line in a poem) however I found it hard to read, of the masculine and hard edges, like a bad Canadian winter where someone had died, yet I was also struck by the power of it.

The poetry is also at times political, perhaps noting the less employment of the Computerized Economy:

Definitions and Titles

"Pooration: 1. the process of making a populace poor 2. pooration to the point where cuts are made to the core essentials of life is known as core pooration.

See also: povertization and topple down economics

See also: prausterity"

As if taking the pulse of the New World, the Poet as Bard painting a postcard of now, Previously Feared Darkness by Robert Priest.

Available @ Amazon Canada. www.amazon.ca.

Available @ Amazon United States. www.amazon.com.

Available @ Amazon United Kingdom. www.amazon.co.uk.


Genre: Poetry, New Age





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